IDFG personnel began interviewing steelhead anglers along the upper Salmon River on Friday, October 1st. Angler effort over the weekend was low, and no anglers interviewed reported catching a steelhead. We are expecting angler effort and catch rates to pick up over the next couple of weeks as more steelhead arrive to the area.
Due to low precipitation throughout 2021, river conditions are atypical for early October. Currently, the Salmon River through the town of Salmon, ID is flowing at 638 cfs which is 53% of average for today’s date. River temperatures over the weekend were in the mid-50s, and the river had clear visibility upstream of Deadwater and slightly cloudy visibility downstream of Deadwater in location codes 14 and 15.
Based on PIT tag detections at Bonneville and Lower Granite dams, we are estimating that returns of hatchery steelhead to the Salmon River this fall will be similar to what was observed during the fall of 2018. This means that the expected return will be lower than last year but higher than what was seen during the fall of 2019. These return estimates prompted Idaho Department of Fish and Game to reduce the steelhead bag limits for the fall 2021 steelhead fishery on the Salmon and Snake rivers to 1 steelhead per day and 3 in possession. For additional information anglers are encouraged to visit the IDFG Steelhead Seasons and Rules webpage at idfg.idaho.gov/fish/steelhead/rules.
Report via | Brent Beller | Fisheries Biologist 1 | Idaho Fish and Game